Boats 08

Francis "Frank" S. Astephen

April 6, 1945 ~ December 10, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old

Francis "Frank" Astephen Obituary

Francis S. Astephen

Mendon, MA/North Sydney

Francis S. “Frank” Astephen, 78, of Mendon, MA, formally of North Sydney, Nova Scotia passed away on December 10, 2023 in Milford Regional Medical Center in Milford, MA.  He was the loving husband of Nancy E. (Morin) Astephen.

He was born on April 6, 1945 in Hayward Heath, Lewes, East Sussex County, England in 1945, and was the son of the late Stephen and Mary Kirksby (Bowes) Astephen. They immigrated to Canada in 1946 aboard the HMS Queen Mary I, landing on Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Frank traveled the world while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy as a part of the engineering department.

Frank worked as a plant operator and assistant to the manager at Milford Water and R. H. White Companies for 42 years before his retirement. His part time jobs were plentiful and diverse, he held a janitorial position for New England Water Works Assn. and worked the Deli at Milford Stop-n-Shop. Many years ago, he was the Zamboni operator at the former Morelli-Cyr Ice Rink in Milford, now known as PINZ as well as detailing a variety of vehicles as taught by his father.

Frank was a former director and member of the Milford Chamber of Commerce, former treasurer and member of the New England Chapter of N.A.W.C., lifelong member of New England Water Works Association, member of Massachusetts Water Works Association and member of SCIRA- International Snipe Sailing Class Association. He enjoyed volunteering in the community by coaching at the ice rink, he served as a Boy Scout Leader in Hopedale and was a longtime volunteer with the New England Water Works events.  

In his youth he crafted the skill of candlepin bowling at his father’s bowling alley and later was a candlepin bowling champion appearing on the regional television program “Candlepin’s for Cash”. With his winnings he purchased his first Snipe sailboat. Sailing was a large part of his life from a very young age, learning to race Snipes alongside his father and siblings which led him to become a Jr. Olympian in sailing, representing Nova Scotia. He loved the open ocean, with the wind in his sail. He used to race snipes at the Winchester Yacht Club in MA before taking on pleasure sailing with family, friends and his loyal first fur-mate, Tanner in Buzzards Bay. In keeping Canada close to his heart, his last boat was named Osprey after the provincial bird of Nova Scotia.  When not on the ocean, Frank could be found tinkering in the yard with a Pepsi in hand. 

Frank will be missed by countless people across the many communities he was a part of. In addition to his wife Nancy of 39 years, he is survived by his children, Stephen W. Astephen of CA, Robert C. Astephen of CA, Mary Kay Mackneer of PA, Alisha E. Almeida of TX and Christopher J. Astephen of RI and 10 grandchildren.

He is also survived by his ten siblings; Teresa (Larry) Costello, Peter (Judy), Barbara (Jack) MacLean, Michael, John (Patsy), Clare (Albert) Bishop, Denis (the late Kathy), Stephanie (Stan) MacDonald, Paula (Leo) MacDonald, Bernard (the late Rita); many, many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and his beloved aunts, Marg Hilcox and Rose Zukowski.

He was predeceased by his brother Paul Astephen and his son Jason “Junior” Astephen. 

Memorial donations may be made to the Community Boating Center (where his grandchildren took sailing lessons), 1641 Padanaram Ave., New Bedford, MA 02740. at www.communityboating.org. The family has already donated a boat, the "4U2SEA," for the sailing program. 

Visitation for Francis will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2024 from 10:00 am-11:00 am in the Buma-Sargeant Funeral Home, 42 Congress Street, Milford, MA, 01757 with a funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m. in the Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will take place in Quaker Cemetery, 7 George Street, Mendon, MA.    

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